Sir Jim Ratcliffe conference: Billionaire responds to suggestions he will buy Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has spoken about the possibility of buying Manchester United, at a Financial Times conference.

He has sadly walked back suggestions he might look to acquire the club imminently.

Asked to elaborate on his plans, Ratcliffe said: “Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family. I have met Joel and Avram. They are the nicest people, I have to say, proper gentlemen. 

“If it had been for sale we probably would have had a go. We can’t sit around hoping United will become available.”

If United would be available, his stance may change, explaining: “I am a lifelong Manchester United fan, I was there in ’99 that remarkable match in Barcelona.”

He added that he recently met Manchester City owner Khaldoon Mubarak, explaining: “After two hours and 15 minutes we got onto the subject of chemicals. You can probably imagine what we were talking about.”

Photo credit should read DIRK WAEM/AFP via Getty Images

Sir Jim Ratcliffe conference

A company spokesperson for Ineos told The Times in August: “We would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.”

The billionaire was born in Greater Manchester and his company Ineos own French club Nice.

United’s current owners are American businessmen the Glazers, who bought the club back in 2005.

Under their stewardship, United have been on a gradual decline which has seen the club go the last five years without a trophy, recording their Premier League lowest points total in 2021/22.

The stadium and training ground both require major improvement, which the Glazers are unlikely to be able to fund without loading the club with more debt.

BBC Sport report United registered £115 million losses last season with the club’s debt now £514.9 million.

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